Thursday, August 8, 2013

Who We Are

We Are, Preparing for and Pursuing Personal Missions
We believe that every individual has the seeds of greatness within.  We believe that when a person fully develops this greatness, the individual will discover that he or she has a mission in this life and will decide to pursue that mission.  We believe that when an individual pursues and fulfills that mission, he or she makes the world a better place.
Our basic principles include
▪ Family
▪ Classics
▪ Mentors
▪ Service
▪ Tribal Community
▪ Self-Reliance
▪ Self-Education
▪ Inspire Rather Than Require
▪ Phases of Learning
▪Virtuous Character

LEAF seeks to strengthen families.   LEAF is geared toward homeschooling families and their schedules, but one does not need to be a homeschooler nor a parent to be part of LEAF.  LEAF respects the authority of every family to decide what is right for them.  We are careful to only approach hot topics in a developmentally appropriate way that respects the authority of each family.

LEAF believes in using principles and standards taught in “core” books, like scripture, and in classics from all fields of study. In our estimation, classics:
▪ usually express some artistic quality: an expression of life, truth, and beauty.
▪ stand the test of time. The work is usually considered to be a representation of the period in which it was written or created, and the work merits lasting recognition.
▪ have a certain universal appeal. Great works of literature touch us at our core, partly because they integrate themes that are understood by readers from a wide range of backgrounds and levels of experience. Themes of love, hate, death, life, and faith touch upon some of our most basic emotional responses.
▪ make connections to influences from other great works.
▪ can be examined repeatedly as reliable sources of truth and insight.
▪ are found in all areas of life such as music, sculpture, painting, architecture, math, medicine, and science.

LEAF promotes the mentor model of Leadership Education. We believe in personalized mentoring for all ages, rather than the modern classroom model. LEAF is a place to mentor and to be mentored.


LEAF believes that service to others is fundamental to Leadership Education and to a well-functioning community.

Self-Reliance and Self-Education

LEAF promotes self-reliant, self-educating families. We believe in lifelong learning for everyone.   We are not a school for children and do not provide a comprehensive education.  We are a family academy, and we strive to provide exposure to many subjects, inspiration for deeper study at home, and mentoring for youth and adults seeking to progress through the phases of learning. Mentoring children in Core (0-8) and Love of Learning (8-12) Phases is the privilege of parents.  We delight in Entrepreneurship and support self-education.  

Tribal Community
LEAF is a tribe of families, united around common principles. When the families of LEAF come together, our relationships become more like family than friends. Each family takes care of its own fundamental needs and then the LEAF tribe comes together to accomplish things that we cannot do as individual families. Every member of the tribe contributes to accomplish our shared goals. Each member of the tribe supports and is supported by the others. LEAF is open and welcoming to people from all walks of life. Everyone in the group is unique and each family has its own religion, parenting style, way of eating, etc. The majority of our members come from a Judeo-Christian background and this will occasionally be expressed at LEAF events (e.g. a prayer before a potluck, nativity at the Christmas party). However, no one religion or doctrine will be taught and religion will only be a topic of discussion at the scholar (12-18) level and above.

Inspire Rather Than Require

LEAF believes that every individual has seeds of greatness within which need to be nurtured through inspiring environments, mentors’ examples, and world exposure, as well as by listening to one’s own heart.  LEAF refrains from requiring Core (0-8) and Love of Learning (8-12) Phase individuals to participate in academic activities in which they are not interested. Scholar (12-18) Phase students are asked to “do hard things” but it should be their choice whether or not to enroll in Scholar (12-18) Phase courses.

Phases of Learning

LEAF believes in honoring the developmental phases of learning, as described in Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning by Oliver and Rachel DeMille.  The Phases include:

  • Foundational Phases: Core (0-8), Love of Learning (8-12)
  • Educational Phases: Scholar (12-18), Depth
  • Applicational Phases: Mission, Impact
Ideally children progress through the Core (0-8), Love of Learning (8-12), and Scholar (12-18) Phases during their childhood and youth, though individuals who have not yet experienced one or more of these phases are able to go through them later in life.  LEAF offers to mentor individuals and families as they seek to learn about and progress through the first three phases of learning.   

Virtuous Character
We actively strive to model virtuous character and to develop these same traits in our children. We are working toward becoming people who have integrity, are hardworking, honest, chaste, and courageous; people who treat others with kindness, love, and respectfulness; people who are modest in word and dress and who focus on and embrace the wholesome things in life.

LEAF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, led by a Board of Directors.  
  • President: Jennifer Jarrett
  • Vice President: Brianne Hoag
  • Secretary: Emily Wolfe
  • Director of Adult Education: LaShaunna Hepworth
  • Treasurer: LaDonna Hoyden
  • Junior Program Director: Shonda Phillips
  • Parent Representative:  Grahame McMaster
For more information join the Friends of LEAF Facebook group or email  If you are interested in becoming a member family of the LEAF community, include a request for the LEAF Introduction Packet.